-->

Feet are the most important feature of a runner's anatomy. Running can be hard on your body, so it's in your best interest to take extra special care of your feet so you can continue running in comfort for the long term.

There are lots of ways you can practice good foot care before, during, and after your runs, as well as during your daily life. Where should you start?

Gear

Your feet are rarely naked. What you darn them in is important for keeping them comfortable and injury-free, especially when running or walking for extended periods of time. This means you need to be careful about what shoes and socks that you wear.

When it comes to shoes, fit is most important. If they are too tight, this can lead to circulation issues and black toenails; if they are too loose, you can end up with blisters or risk an injury like a sprained ankle.

You can visit a podiatrist or shoe-fitting expert to ensure that you get it right. Once you find the perfect pair of shoes, they should be paired with the right socks to avoid blisters and warts. Look for socks that are light-weight, water-resistant and fitted.

Skin Care

It is especially important for runners to keep the skin of their feet soft because dry skin reliably leads to painful cracks and fissures that can bleed. Fissures can also become infected if they aren't treated properly or exacerbated by continued exercise.

The best way to handle cracked skin is to prevent it by keeping skin soft and moisturized in the first place. Creams and anti-chafing sticks can also help to prevent blisters.

There are plenty of foot cream options on the market, so keep your eye out for brands that are silicone-based or are clinically formulated by professionals such as Dr. David Watts.

Foot Care

Other than your skin, there's plenty more to include when talking about foot health. One issue you may notice during and after runs is swelling or overheating, to which the remedy is cold therapy. You should raise your feet above heart-level and lay an ice pack on them for 15-20 minutes.

You can also immerse your feet in cold water or an ice bath for 15 minutes if you know that you don't have vascular issues. You can also instantly relieve pain with a simple foot massage-visit a professional, entreat a partner or use a tennis ball on the soles of your feet.

This can help prevent plantar fasciitis, as well. Keep your nails trimmed so that you don't cut up your socks or toes, and prevent blood from pooling under the nail.

Athlete's Foot

Almost every runner has heard of the itchy, painful fungus known as "athlete's foot." The key to preventing this infection is to keep your feet clean and dry. This is easier said than done, seeing as each of your feet has 125,000 sweat glands.

You can buy antiperspirants for your feet, and change your socks regularly. Try to air your feet out after each run. If you've already contracted athlete's foot, you'll need to purchase over-the-counter fungicide and take some rest.

Exercises

A lot of running injuries are associated with weak feet because your running gait is less stable. There are exercises you can easily do in the comfort of your home to strengthen your feet over time.

Five examples include: toe raises, towel toe curls, walking on your toes, foot circles, and points with a band and stretching toe flexors. You should do 20 repetitions of each exercise per set. Aim to do 2-3 sets per day, 2-3 times per week. You will feel your running improve drastically.

Feet form the solid base from which people conduct most of their lives, yet few pay much attention to them. Start working these foot care routines into your schedule slowly, and before you know it they will be like second nature.

Your marathon time will thank you!

Shop Now